Sea­son starts with solemn re­minder

An Anzac Day trib­ute round saw a new sea­son of the North Pil­bara Football League start on a solemn note last Fri­day night. The Kats de­feated the Fal­cons in their Kar­ratha derby match, while Wick­ham Wolves bested the Sharks and the Swans were tri­umphant in

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

Reign­ing league pre­miers the Kar­ratha Kats sank their claws into a new sea­son of the North Pil­bara Football League on Fri­day with a 40-point win over cross-town ri­vals the Fal­cons.

The match also marked a mile­stone 200th game for one of the home side’s club cham­pi­ons.

It was a big first game of the sea­son at the Fal­cons’ Bul­garra Oval, be­ing also an all-Kar­ratha derby and the an­nual Anzac trib­ute round, and drew big crowds to match.

It be­gan on a solemn note with an Anzac Day trib­ute in­volv­ing per­son­nel from the Pil­bara Reg­i­ment car­ry­ing the Aus­tralian flag onto the field, the sound­ing of Last Post and the crowd ob­serv­ing a minute’s si­lence.

Once play be­gan, there were no holds barred.

The ac­tion was mostly stop-start in the first quar­ter as both teams set­tled back into league football, and things got phys­i­cal early on when a Fal­cons player was car­ried off the field on a stretcher.

How­ever both sides started to get the flow of play as time wore on and they were mov­ing the ball more smoothly by quar­ter time, when the Kats led by only one point, 2.2 (14) to 2.1 (13).

But the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons stepped up and started kick­ing away mid­way through the sec­ond term, scor­ing four ma­jors while the Fal­cons strug­gled to con­vert and were held goal­less for the term.

The Fal­cons got their hands on the ball a lot more in the third quar­ter and man­aged to con­cen­trate play in their for­ward 50 for much of it, gain­ing two goals for their ef­fort.

It all led to a much more freeflow­ing and con­trolled game in the last term but it was still the Kats who had the up­per hand and, while the Fal­cons hung in, they were un­able to come back.

Kats league coach John Welling­ton said it had been an “ugly win” but they were glad to get the points re­gard­less.

But the Fal­cons still had rea­son to cel­e­brate, with the match also mark­ing a land­mark 200th game for long-term player Michael For­manczyk, a six-times De Grey Medal win­ner and a three-times run­ner-up.

He said while it would have been good to get a win, there were still plenty of promis­ing signs for the club now and into the near fu­ture.

“I love the club, that’s why I’m still here and with the young boys we’ve got around now, there’s a bright fu­ture com­ing up,” he said.

“We’ve only got a young team and we ticked some boxes tonight.

“They’re the pre­miers from last year and we pretty much took it up to them.

“It was only four goals apart.

“So the young boys, they’ve got a lot of learn­ing (to do), but it’s go­ing to hap­pen fast.”

The Kats also de­feated the Fal­cons in their re­serves match 13.12 (90) to 9.6 (60). Kats’ Daniel Farmer and Fal­cons’ David Ward kicked five each for their teams.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Per­era

Kats and Fal­cons play­ers com­pete for a mark dur­ing their round 1 derby clash.

Kats' Bren­dan Bl­iz­zard takes an over­head mark.

Fal­cons' Ethan Bur­maz chases down a loose ball.

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